Thursday, June 13, 2013

Creating a Book Cover: Flirting with Chaos

I love Book Covers. I have an awesome New Adult Contemporary Romance with coming out Fall 2013. 

Currently, Omnific and I are in the first stages of the publishing process to make sure everything is perfect, which means editing, revising, and more editing. 

But, I LOVE COVERS! So I asked my good friend and talented artist
Jackie Sheats
to make me a Mock Cover for my book Flirting with Chaos and explain her process to us. 

First let me tell you what I asked for....
Flirting with Chaos deals with two mentally unstable rich kids, Rain and Jude. Rain is an artist. Jude is a rising rock star. 

In this book, I played with the idea of how insanity influences artists' creation process as well as how it could impact love. Rorschach signs
come up a lot in the book, as art, theme, and within the plot-line. FYI, the Rorschach test is several inkblots used by psychologists to examine a person's personality characteristics and emotional functioning. 

So I asked Jackie to incorporate the Rorschach symbol in the cover. Let's check out her work!

Jackie Explaining Her Process

1. The first thing I do is put my lovely source images onto one canvas. Generally when working on a book cover I use these settings for a new file. 1500x2400px 200dpi.

What do those settings mean? It means about 4 hours in my computer starts freaking out because it's over worked. Unlike myself, I am a well oiled machine!

Those settings for your file are about as big as a cover will ever be requested for upload. I choose to do it the biggest as possible. I do this because bigger is always better.

Also it is easier to go smaller then bigger when it comes to working with photos. The 200 dpi is the resolution which I have found to be perfect to not over work my computer, and it is the perfect medium.

2. With both my images on the same canvas I flick this magic switch that turns the top layer (the man and woman) into a clipping mask. Translated, it will only show where the ink blot is. 

Neat huh? Well it gets better.

3. To make it more believable I use a soft brush to erase the areas in the ink blot that are meant to be white. Also I start to fade the image of the man and woman so you can see the ink blot, and also draws your attention to the center. So basically making your eye do what I want it to, because I have that kind of power.

4. I add the check, play around with some settings. Work even more magic because I am a wizard. Use a soft brush with adjusted settings to fade some black in. Make that white not so white.

5. Finally, I use some layer effects to doll up the text. Throw a stroke in there, a drop shadow, and a little stain. What comes out is brilliant cover, a day spent at my computer, and a very sore back end. 

Don't even think this is easy. This was just one of about 12 different designs I went through. I just make it all look that easy.

Thanks Jackie!

She also went through this process a whole lot because I am a crazy author that didn't know what I wanted. We went through several covers before I finally picked one. 

Check out the others!

If you're interested in the release of Flirting with Chaos, go to my website Kenya Wright and sign up to follow by email!!

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